～なよ (Bonus Unit F)
なまえ を カタカナ で かきなさい。
Write your name in katakana.
Literally: "name + を + katakana + で + write (=[command])."
The hierarchical command form is made by putting ～なさい onto the end of a verb's ます-stem, yeah? I've always found it interesting that it is also possible to make a suggestion by putting ～な(よ) onto the end of a verb's ます-stem, as in:
Go to sleep already.
Literally: "already + sleep (=[suggestion])."
Why don't you eat it? // Just try it.
Literally: "eat (=[suggestion]) + よ."
To give another example, let's say that your friend is clearly sick, but she's not taking any medicine. You could tell her:
びょういん いきな よ。
Go to the doctor.
Literally: "hospital + go (=[suggestion]) + よ."
Note: Sometimes I would translate this as "Go to the hospital," but given the casual context in which our sentence is appearing, I thought "Go to the doctor" is better.
I was first introduced to the ～な(よ) ending when hanging out with Rei (now wife, then girlfriend). At the time, I was between N2 and N1 level, and I'd never come across this verb ending (which shows just how late I was learning casual Japanese... and is perhaps why I put so much focus on it in our lessons). I've heard that ～な(よ) can sound like a rather strong command in certain areas of Japan, but in Tokyo it's quite common to use when casually urging friends to do some action.
Anyway, conjugation time: